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Student story: Back to the country way

30 Mar 2023

Perth nursing student Bethany Egbers completed her WA Country Placement seaside, an 8-hour journey south in the picturesque town of Esperance. There, she quickly discovered a new sense of independence; connected with a family member she had not met before; and developed lasting friendships, professional relationships, and experiences that she’ll fondly cherish as she moves into her nursing career.

I recent­ly com­plet­ed my Stage 5 WA Coun­try Place­ment for a month in Esper­ance, locat­ed about 8 hours south of Perth. I car­ried out my place­ment in the Emer­gency Depart­ment of the Esper­ance Hospital. 

I grew up in a small coun­try town in Vic­to­ria. How­ev­er, since mov­ing to WA when I was twelve, our fam­i­ly has been liv­ing in the cen­tral sub­urbs of WA. I absolute­ly love where we live but I have always missed the country’s way of life and how it feels like home. 

When I learned that my uni­ver­si­ty pro­vid­ed WA Coun­try Place­ments, I was extreme­ly excit­ed to expe­ri­ence one. I have trav­elled to Esper­ance a few times before and knew of its small-town ener­gy and extreme­ly beau­ti­ful coastline. 

When I was accept­ed for place­ment down there, I was absolute­ly ecsta­t­ic. I ven­tured into the 8‑hour dri­ve in my small hatch­back, which was an expe­ri­ence in itself, and when I arrived, I had already found a new sense of independence. 

I stayed with a mem­ber of my extend­ed fam­i­ly whom I had nev­er met. How­ev­er, he made me feel so wel­come and com­fort­able in his home where I would stay for the dura­tion of my placement.

I began my place­ment the next day at the hos­pi­tal which was a five-minute dri­ve from where I was stay­ing. One of the many things I loved about Esper­ance was that every­where was only a five-minute dri­ve away.

From my first day of place­ment, I felt wel­comed, includ­ed and a valu­able part of the ED depart­ment. All the staff on the ward were so help­ful and full of knowl­edge. I found that this hos­pi­tal was not as busy as metro hos­pi­tals, there­fore the nurs­es were able to explain things thor­ough­ly and allow me to ini­ti­ate care and take patient loads, real­ly help­ing my expe­ri­ence and confidence.

My CNM was also real­ly sup­port­ive and allowed the oth­er stu­dent and me to choose our ros­ter to allow for fam­i­ly to vis­it, or for us to trav­el home if we want­ed. The doc­tors on the ward treat­ed me as a nurse and I estab­lished an awe­some inter­pro­fes­sion­al rela­tion­ship with them.

Being a rur­al place­ment, I got to see all sorts of emer­gen­cies, ill­ness­es, and quick surg­eries which I’ll get to take with me in my nurs­ing career. The beau­ti­ful coast­line of Esper­ance was only a five-minute dri­ve away, where I would go every day before or after my place­ment. It tru­ly was the best place to have a nurs­ing placement.

I left my place­ment with new friend­ships formed with RNs, a huge amount of nurs­ing expe­ri­ence and new­found inde­pen­dence as a per­son. I couldn’t rec­om­mend it more.

Bethany’s place­ment was sup­port­ed by a CRANAplus Under­grad­u­ate Remote Place­ment Scholarship.

Click for more infor­ma­tion or to apply for an Under­grad­u­ate Remote Place­ment Schol­ar­ship.